The Best Action Films Ever Made: Our Top Picks

Millions upon millions of South Africans love action movies. Known for their high-intensity fight sequences and out-of-this-world stunts, when immersing yourself in one, there is so much adrenaline and excitement to lap up!

Whether you consider yourself an action film buff or not, there are certainly some titles that outrank the others. If you want to be on the edge of your seat and are searching for a new thrill, here are some of our favourite action films ever made that we’re sure you’re going to love!


Shaft is an action film that came around at a period when ‘action’ movies were not nearly as fast-paced as they are today. However, this certainly doesn’t diminish the effects the film has as a breakthrough moment for Black action heroes. Take Richard Roundtree for example who plays in the title role. Although Shaft spends a large portion of the movie chasing down leads at a leisurely pace, Gordon Parks (the director) is able to retain a sense of tension that continues to build and build right up until the spectacular closing finale. If you’re yet to watch Shaft, we promise you’re in for a treat!

The Matrix

Perhaps the biggest testament to the power of The Matrix is that so much of it should feel old and dated. But, it doesn’t! In the late 90s, as blockbuster filmmaking shifted into a new era of computer-generated wizardry, Lilly and Lana Wachowski came up with a sci-fi spectacle that combined bondage and cyberpunk aesthetics with wire-fu fight choreography and anime-inspired visuals. When all this is thrown together, it just… works! The Matrix is an action franchise like no other. Before you sink into one of The Matrix films, why not play on some action-themed casino games? There are a variation of slot games you can choose from. Let Online Casino Reviews help you with this. They compare the best slots games and online casinos.

Enter the Dragon

By the time Enter the Dragon burst onto the scene in 1973, Bruce Lee was already an international movie star. However, unlike the past titles he starred in, Enter the Dragon was released only one month after his devastating death at the age of 32. Steeped in classic Hong Kong kung fu movie style with many layers of Western action sequences creeping in, Lee’s final completed movie still plays not only as a testament to his amazing talent but showcases his powerful acting abilities as a physical and visual storyteller. Through his voice, body, and imagination, you won’t be able to take your eyes (and ears) off Lee throughout the movie.

The Driver

The concept of Walter Hill’s The Driver starts in a place that is firmly set in crime drama territory. Bruce Dern plays the detective role who tries to set up a trap on a talented getaway driver through a job that is meant to be a setup. However, Hill begins playing with the very concept car chases are known for by switching up the motivation time and time again. This continues until the movie climatises into an unforgettable final sequence where the cars stalk each other through a labyrinthine warehouse. The Driver knows how to stage confrontations in a deliciously tense and inventive way that will keep your eyes hooked from start to finish.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

It’s believed that Stephen Spielberg wanted to make a Bond film. However, George Lucas countered with an idea derived from adventure serials. The final result of this being cinema’s favourite whip-cracking archaeologist. Regardless of how it came about, Raiders of the Lost Ark still holds up strongly as an absolute masterpiece of action cinema that millions of movie buffs have watched time and time again. From the iconic boulder opening through to the desert chase scenes, there are plenty of action sequences in Raiders of the Lost Ark that directors 4 decades on can only dream of replicating.

Kill Bill

When we think of action-themed films, Kill Bill is surely one that springs to mind first. Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the revenge cinema of Japan and Hong Kong kung fu is like so much of his work that’s placed with references to other key components of action cinema. However, this doesn’t make Kill Bill any less impactful as a work all by itself. Uma Thurman turns in an absolutely brilliant performance as The Bride. Almost 2 decades on, the whole bloody affair Kill Bill is known for still works powerfully as a modern action showcase.

It’s safe to say that action movies have been very popular for decades and decades. While many action lovers concentrate on the newest titles, there are plenty of movies that span back 3 or 4 decades that are as loved then as they are today.

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